Human Rights and Slavery

Please accept my humble obeisances and dandavats! 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and all pure devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead! 

I became involved with ISKCON over 40 years ago.  Recently I was researching the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase and I was unable to find very much spelled out regarding human rights and Slavery.   

Does anyone have any insight or information about human rights or slavery following Srila Prabhupada,  ISKCON and Bona fide Vaisnava Acaryas? 

Thanks and Hare Krsna! 

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    I was studying the past comments again.  I really appreciate the transcendental perspective!  This will really help me to cope if somehow I wind up enslaved as was the case in former times and perhaps in modern times. 

     I think serving the authorized Vaisnava Acarya in a way that seems like slavery may be a temporary arrangement and is probably a different circumstance than common slavery. 

    There was a famous Vaisnava Acarya who did not want any servants.  One qualified disciple came and was serving him in a very menial and sincere way.  Finally, this Vaisnava Acarya was informed by God in a dream that he should accept this qualified disciple. 

    There are many instructions in the Srimad Bhagavatam directing spiritual aspirants to greater and greater levels of renunciation.  This fact by itself can possible direct devotees away from any involvement in the slavery business. 

    In countries such as the USA where slavery is illegal I still think it would probably help ISKCON centers or Hare Krsna centers to be prepared to properly define their stand on slavery and human rights. 

    May Lord Sri Krsna Always Bless you!

    • Pamho Agtsp! 

      As far as I know Srila Prabhupada said very little if anything to authorize Suicide, the SATI, nor slavery. 

      Your humble neighborhood Hare Krsna Bhakti Yogi  ,

      Dandavats dasa 

      हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे || 

      हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे||




        Somehow I am reminded of the situation with the Romans which lasted for so many hundreds of years.  Apparently, they had different types of slaves.  Some slaves may not have been entirely thought of as slaves.

        I am thinking that devotees and followers of ISKCON are apparently faced with surrender to the order and will of the authorized Guru-Parampara.  This surrender seems so abject that it reminds me of slavery.  Still devotees may not be thinking of themselves entirely as slaves. People may not be thinking of devotees as slaves.  However, there is this fact that devotees and followers of ISKCON are, in a sense, being purchased. 

        This can certainly be a serious concern if bullying is involved or if devotees and followers of ISKCON are not being given proper and appropriate direction. 

        May Lord Sri Krsna Bless you Always!

        Hare Krsna!

        Your humble neighborhood Hare Krsna,

        Dandavats dasa

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  • Pamho Agtsp! 

    I think that so far anything that seems like slavery with an ISKCON center may happen for a number of reasons. 

    *A devotee serving close with an ISKCON center may become bound by indebtedness even when a monetary debt is never discussed.   

    *An ISKCON center may be involved in an excess of developments that may increase the overall cost for every devotee involved.   Again this can result in an increase in indebtedness on devotees which can bind them at least psychologically even if details regarding monetary debts are not specifically discussed. 

    *Devotees having leadership roles with ISKCON center may not mind that devotees are becoming more financially indebted then they are able to understand. 

    I think with an ISKCON center this can be a psychological or emotional binding and may not be a binding due to threats or actually tying someone up with rope or chains. 

    To a certain extent it is probably normal for a business or household to provide for someone and an emotional or psychological bond may take place.   I think the thing to be watchful regarding ISKCON centers is when large sums of money are involved and then there is an  international crowd involved with ISKCON centers . 

    May Lord Sri Krsna always shower you all with many Merciful Blessings! 


    Dandavats dasa 

  • Truth Conceived is Truth Achieved

    All sins are destroyed and all good fortune is created by the Supreme Lord's qualities, activities and appearances, and words that describe these three things animate, beautify and purify the world. On the other hand, words bereft of His glories are like the decorations on a corpse.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.38.12

    The conditioned souls become completely bound in affection to their own corpselike material bodies and their relatives and paraphernalia. In such a proud and foolish condition, the conditioned souls envy other living entities as well as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who resides in the heart of all beings. Thus enviously offending others, the conditioned souls gradually fall down into hell.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.5.15

    Death is not at all pleasing, and since everyone is exactly like a condemned man being led to the place of execution, what possible happiness can people derive from material objects or the gratification they provide?

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.10.20

    Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth -- all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 13.8, Bg 13.9, Bg 13.10, Bg 13.11, Bg 13.12, Bg 13.8-12

    My dear Uddhava, one can give up false pride and prestige by engaging in the following devotional activities. One may purify oneself by seeing, touching, worshiping, serving, and offering prayers of glorification and obeisances to My form as the Deity and to My pure devotees. One should also glorify My transcendental qualities and activities, hear with love and faith the narrations of My glories and constantly meditate on Me. One should offer to Me whatever one acquires, and accepting oneself as My eternal servant, one should give oneself completely to Me. One should always discuss My birth and activities and enjoy life by participating in festivals, such as Janmastami, which glorify My pastimes. In My temple, one should also participate in festivals and ceremonies by singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and discussing Me with other Vaisnavas. One should observe all the regularly celebrated annual festivals by attending ceremonies, pilgrimages and making offerings. One should also observe religious vows such as Ekadasi and take initiation by the procedures mentioned in the Vedas, Pancaratra and other, similar literatures. One should faithfully and lovingly support the installation of My Deity, and individually or in cooperation with others one should work for the construction of Krsna conscious temples and cities as well as flower gardens, fruit gardens and special areas to celebrate My pastimes. One should consider oneself to be My humble servant, without duplicity, and thus should help to clean the temple, which is My home. First one should sweep and dust thoroughly, and then one should further cleanse with water and cow dung. Having dried the temple, one should sprinkle scented water and decorate the temple with mandalas. One should thus act just like My servant. A devotee should never advertise his devotional activities; therefore his service will not be the cause of false pride. One should never use lamps that are offered to Me for other purposes simply because there is need of illumination, and similarly, one should never offer to Me anything that has been offered to or used by others. Whatever is most desired by one within this material world, and whatever is most dear to oneself -- one should offer that very thing to Me. Such an offering qualifies one for eternal life.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.11.34, SB 11.11.35, SB 11.11.36, SB 11.11.37, SB 11.11.38, SB 11.11.39, SB 11.11.40, SB 11.11.41, SB 11.11.34-41
  • Hare Krsna! 

    It is a fact that almost everything is beyond our control.   It may be a very interesting thing to study how the Supreme Personality of Godhead has human beings believing they are somehow in control of something. I have to suggest researching the Srimad Bhagavatam at least. 

    I noticed no further response for so many days.  I sincerely thank you for all of your very sincere comments thus far. 

    I had a funny thought about all of this.   Please allow me to share this funny thought with you.   Thank you most kindly for your patience. 

    The funny thing is that ISKCON has the "Sunday Love Feast". Why not consider ways to use this "Love" word. 

    I believe the word "Love" is used by ISKCON or Hare Krishna because the real love is in Vaikuntha Dhama.   Vaikuntha Dhama is God's abode, the spiritual world, and includes both Krsna-loka & Goloka Vrndavana. Vaikuntha Dhama is the place of everlasting love, everlasting relationships, and everlasting happiness. 

    Are the Hare Krsna Slaves going to be called "Love Slaves"? 

    Thanks! Hare Krsna! 

    • Well, I do not believe it is a laughing matter when human beings or even animals are exposed to abusiveness which can happen in a number of ways. 

      • I guess the worst state of abusiveness for human beings is similar to what the African people went through during the times of enslavement in the so-called "new world" which is the Western Hemisphere.  This means potentially in real chains probably made of metal.  This means extreme limitations on educational opportunity and the freedom of speech.  This worst kind of slavery could and did sometimes mean the worst kind of cruel torture.  This kind of slavery which may be the worst could also include loss of life without any consideration other than the possible practical needs of the so-called owners of the slaves and enslaved.  It is also cruel and abusive just that in this worst case of enslavement people can be enslaved for generations.

        Since enslavement exists in certain areas of the world sanctioned by the local so-called law or "Man's Laws"; the thought is how is there going to be some way to ascertain that slaves will be given some reasonable amount of fair treatment free from any and all excess of abuse? 

        Oddly, there are all types of people coming from all types of cultural origins who may actually take an interest in enslaving other human beings.  And, then there are those who believe they should not say anything about slavery and enslavement.  Some may be happy that at least they and those close to them are not being enslaved. 

        For ISKCON, I think during the early years of ISKCON devotees may have wondered if ISKCON could remain a highly private and very spiritual society and so the discussion about slavery and human rights  could be set aside.  As far as I can understand Srila Prabhupada was not expecting such a huge outpouring of his Hare Krsna following. 

        Ultimately, we could refer to the most advanced levels of Vaisnavism which may include acceptance even of martyrdom.  We could go so far as to assume the only real way is that achieved by the legendary Six Gosvamis of Vrndaban transcending even all demigod worship. 

        May God Almighty please protect all people and all animals from pain due to conflict, suffering or misery regarding a topic like slavery and human rights. 

        May Lord Sri Krsna Always Bless you all most abundantly!

        Hare Krsna!

  • Volunteer

    Brahmachari lives like a slave to his guru.

    Grihastha has some freedom, earns money, eats restricted food he likes, associates with his wife, kid;

    Vanaprastha voluntarily accepts difficulties, eats only fruits and roots, leaves his wealth, home, resides in the forest or holy place, increases his service to God.

    Sannyasa fully renounces all his material things, relationships and roams around the world alone with Krsna in his heart to help others to be Krsna Conscious.

    So as we see here only Brahmachari lives like a slave not others.

    Your servant,

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